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" I think that computers today allow us one last opportunity to provide something like a level playingfield in America."
- William Gibson

Disintegrator Ray (Dis Ray)  
  A device that projects a beam reducing matter to nothingness.  

In about 2109, it seems the conflict was finally precipitated. The Mongolians, with overwhelming fleets of great airships, and a science that far outstripped that of crippled America, swept in over the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts, and down from Canada, annihilating American aircraft, armies and cities with their terrific disintegrator ray. These rays were projected from a machine not unlike a searchlight in appearance, the reflector of which, however, was not material substance, but a complicated balance of interacting electronic forces. This resulted in a terribly destructive beam. Under its influence, material substance melted into "nothingness"; i.e., into electronic vibrations. It destroyed all then known substances, from air to the most dense metals and stone.
From Armageddon: 2419 A.D., by Philip Frances Nowlan.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1928
Additional resources -

Edmund Hamilton described something quite similar to this in his novel Crashing Suns, published the same year. See the entry for de-atomizing ray.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Armageddon: 2419 A.D.
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip Frances Nowlan
  Tech news articles related to Armageddon: 2419 A.D.
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip Frances Nowlan

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